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Stormwater Education & Water Quality Tips

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We all play an important role in protecting our water, wildlife and plants.

Do you have a lawn or garden? Please prevent irrigation runoff because the irrigation runoff enters the storm drain system and transports pollutants such as fertilizer and pesticides into local creeks, negatively impacting our local water quality. To prevent irrigation runoff entering into the storm drain system, follow these steps:

  • Check irrigation system for broken lines and sprinkler heads, then replace if necessary.
  • Adjust sprinklers to prevent overspray onto the sidewalk and street.
  • Be aware of the frequency and duration of your irrigation system to prevent overwatering.
  • If you have slopes that are not planted, cover them with plants or mulch to prevent the dirt from eroding.
  • Minimize use of fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides.
  • Store pesticides, fertilizers, and other chemicals in a covered area.
Trash can and dumpster lids should be left closed at all times to prevent trash from being released into the environment. Please follow these tips to keep our neighborhoods and businesses clean and our environment healthy. 
  • Area around the dumpster should always be kept clean, and free of trash, debris, or liquids.
  • Do not overfill trash can or dumpster.
  • If you notice your dumpster leaking or lids are missing, call your service provider to have it replaced.
  • Clean the dumpster area by hand, broom, or dry mop, not with wash water. This maintains the appearance of your area, keeps rodents away, and reduces odors.
  • Only toilet paper should be flushed down the toilets.
  • Baby wipes, paper towels, and other paper-like products can clog or damage your private sewer lateral or public sewer pipes.
  • Clogged sewer pipes can create overflows that release sewage into the environment.
  • Remember to think before you flush!
  • Swimming pool water is chlorinated and can impact environment. Don't let it flow onto the street and into storm drains.
  • If you have a pool or spa that needs to be emptied, call the City of Vista Engineering Department at 760.639.6111 or email for information on how to properly dispose of the water.

  • It’s best to take your car to a local Vista car wash instead of washing it in your driveway.
  • Going to a car wash will keep detergents and other pollutants from entering the storm drain and local creeks.
  • Even detergents labelled "earth-friendly" or "biodegradable" can be harmful to water quality.
  • Sweep your driveway and pavement rather than hosing it down.
  • Keep vehicles in good condition to prevent leaks.
  • Clean up spills immediately by using absorbent material such as rags, kitty litter, or sand. Dispose of absorbent materials properly.
  • If you change your own oil or do other repairs, it's important to properly dispose of hazardous materials. Please call city of Vista’s hazardous waste collection facility at 800.714.1195 for disposal options.
  • Always pick up your pet’s waste to keep your neighborhood clean and keep bacteria out of local creeks. 
  • When washing your pet outside, do it in your yard so it gets watered and chemicals do not flow into the street or storm drain system.
  • Many household cleaners and chemicals are hazardous to your family's health and the environment. Never pour these products into storm drains or down your household drains.
  • Pick up and dispose of or recycle trash.  When it goes into creeks it creates health risks to humans and the creatures that live there.
  • Sweeping patios and sidewalks instead of power washing.
  • Clean painting tools such as brushes, buckets, rags in an area where the waste can be contained such as portable containers and properly disposed of.
  • Do not put wet paint in the trash container.
  • If you change your own oil or do other repairs, it's important to properly dispose of hazardous materials.
  • Do not pour grease or oil down the drain. It can clog or damage your private sewer lateral or    public sewer pipes.
  • Always recycle used batteries, oil, chemicals and paint.  
  • Dispose of oil, paint, used batteries or other chemicals at the City of Vista’s Hazardous Waste Collection Facility. For disposal options please call at 800.714.1195.

If you observe something being dumped into the storm drain or street, or observe water running in the street when it is not raining, please report it to the Water Quality hotline at 760.643.2804 or use the online Report a Problem form, or by email: